Rural Connectivity

Rural Connectivity: Digital Divides and Real Solutions

Facilitators: Reg Hammond, Laurence Zwimpfer.
Tags: Rural, Access, Education.
Collaborative Notes: Rural Connectivity

At Net Hui 2012 – the rural access session looked at the rural/urban digital divide and how the RBI and the TSO might address that divide. Three issues were highlighted: spectrum allocation (to be addressed in session 32); the availability of RBI fibre connection to rural schools and marae to establish local community wireless broadband hubs; and how changes to the TSO might improve rural broadband beyond the RBI. Following Net Hui 2012  20/20 Communications Trust has commenced a number of case studies where rural schools have attempted to set up community hubs. Laurence Zwimpfer will identify the issues that schools and communities face – what works, what doesn’t, what are the barriers? Puawai Hagger (or someone else)  will compare/contrast issues from a rural Marae perspective. The session will then open to the floor to discuss other emerging issues or solutions for example how upcoming initiatives such as the TSO review, network for learning, RBI roll out might address any continuing digital divide.

The objective of the session is that by the end we will have a list of potential problems/issues – a corresponding list of potential solutions – and a corresponding list of options/responsibilities for fixing problems.

Who should attend?  While the session is intended for people in the rural and education sectors many of the issues relating to internet in schools and using schools as community hubs are equally relevant to low decile schools in urban areas and digital divide issues in urban areas.